Guys, this experience has shown me that motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Really REALLY not for the faint of heart.
We first tried potty training last November when I found out I was pregnant with Graham. Hilton was not even two, but I had read all these inspirational blog posts about how they had their infant potty trained and how glorious it was, and unicorns danced around, fairies sprinkled dust on them and all was right with the world because they got their baby potty trained so easily. Well, back to reality. That doesn't happen in normal households. Sorry, but not sorry, potty training is ridiculously difficult!
I'm pretty sure it was after he pooped on the floor for the second time the first day of 'naked
weekend day morning of potty training' that I threw in the towel. Then the second time we decided maybe he needed a more gradual adjustment of training opportunities to learn in the spring, so we bought pull ups. In bulk. He never initiated wanting to go to the bathroom unless we made him, and he started to purposefully fight us on even going during his bedtime routine. So we gave up. I couldn't help but think, I'm going to have two children in diapers for another two years at least!
About two weeks before the end of my maternity leave Hilton all of a sudden started telling me he needed to go to the bathroom. Whether it was that he all of a sudden gained the ability to hold his bladder longer, or peer pressure from being around lots of little friends that were also potty training, I didn't care. We dove right into potty training and haven't looked back. We started out spending an entire day watching movies while filling him up with lots of liquids (whatever he wanted, soda pop even), and a fair amount of junk food and treats.
And then after the first couple days of enthusiasm of getting M&M's for peeing in the potty weren't quite as inspiring he started having accidents again. Thank heaven's for BabyCenter because all of those 'potty training in a weekend' blogs were so lacking information on what to do. A big recommendation from the Baby Center article about potty training was to place the emphasis on being dry, not successfully peeing. You see, Hilton could always ALWAYS pee in the toilet after an accident. So do I reward him for going successfully in the potty even though he just peed on the floor? I was torn. But Baby Center gave some examples of how to encourage staying dry, not just going potty in the toilet. Enter the sticker chart.
I never thought he would be so motivated by stickers, nor did I think I would ever buy stickers to keep in our house (I HATE HATE HATE stickers - that's another story) but it has totally worked. He gets a sticker when he is dry before going to the potty and he gets M&M's for going potty in the toilet. Once he gets ten stickers (AKA ten times of being dry) he gets a prize from the prize bucket. These include glow in the dark sticks, hot wheels cars, and balloons to name a few.
So far we've been potty training for four weeks and he still has random accidents maybe once every other day when he gets distracted by playing or a movie; but watching some Daniel Tiger and Elmo videos on YouTube about stopping playing and going to the bathroom helps quite a bit. As Daniel says, "When you gotta go, stop, and go right away! Flush and wash and be on your way." Catchy, I know. You'll thank me later. Or, maybe not after watching it ten times.
Probably the thing that Hilton has enjoyed the most since starting potty training is learning to pee while standing up (thank you Jared for teaching him that), which is so helpful when we're out and don't have his potty seat in public this makes it so he can still go potty without getting pee all over his pants. Hallelujah! Of course, this new trick has been used in not necessary situations such as in the...backyard. But I don't think our neighbors mind too much. Hopefully. Boys will be boys right?
Anyways, I think we're well on our way to having a successfully potty trained little man and I'm so grateful to Preschool and my mom for assisting us with this process. Hopefully soon we will have a munchkin who will always tell us when he needs to go and not us
forcing bribing him to go every hour or so. It's a work in progress, but I'm feeling positive about it. Go potty training mom's of the world, you are rock stars!